April 17, 2014
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Why does it take an attempt at suicide to make people realize how big bullying is in our schools? More than one attempt, for that matter. It started to become a huge thing when multiple teens took their lives. Why does that happen? Why do people only take into consideration that they don't know what's going on behind the scenes until they're forced to? Do they want to believe they did all they could to help that person, even if they didn't, just to make themselves feel better after that child has gone from this world? Or did they not understand what was happening in the first place?
Most suicides take people by surprise - they don't notice anything is wrong. A person can fake a smile, fake a laugh, and suddenly they're the happiest person in the world. Nothing's wrong with them, right? They don't lay in bed at night, thinking about all the looks they got that day or all the snide remarks about them - not at all. They go home, do their homework, do their favorite pastime before falling asleep, just to start the whole day over again when they wake up. But what if that's not what's happening?
That girl at the back of the room, sitting with her friends and laughing, may also be the girl who cries herself to sleep at night because she's convinced she's not worth living in the world. At school, she smiles, she keeps her emotions hidden when she hears a rude comment about her - how she looks, how she dresses, what she got on a homework assignment. And everyone believes the act. They believe she's not affected by it, or that it never happened at all. But it still hurts her. She'll lock herself in her room and cry herself to sleep, hoping the next day as she picks out her clothes and does her makeup and hair carefully, so that maybe people will like her and stop saying the harsh things.
Most people don't notice, but it could take one mean comment to push her over the edge, and then we lose an angel.
A boy who's good at basically everything, has his future planned out and is sure it will happen, is afraid to be his real self. He's afraid he'll get judged for it, lose his best friends because suddenly he's not good enough.
And then his grades start to go down. His teachers and parents blame it on sports, so something he loves gets taken away. One by one, the things he cares for gets taken away until he's just done with everything. He just wants to have things back to normal, but it doesn't seem like it will happen. And eventually, that strong, happy boy will give up.
And then he'll be gone.
When kids seem fine, dressing in colorful clothes, acing tests, playing sports and listening to whatever sort of music is popular, people seem to overlook them. But when they see a person dressed in all black, a gauge in his ear, snakebites on his lip, listening to Screamo and other dark music, suddenly they're the depressed one. They're the one who needs attention. They could be perfectly fine, but the adult will take an interest in them rather than the child who actually needs their help. The first type of kid could be hiding scars, both physical and emotional, under all the color so people won't ask. They cover the hollows beneath their eyes with makeup or lie about how they didn't sleep at all that night.
Bullying is on the rise, with ridiculously skinny girls or very fit men becoming famous, people tend to get in more insecure. Girls starve themselves, vomit up what they ate so they don't gain a pound and then lose weight. Boys work out until they look as good as those football players or whoever they idolize. Their insecurities get the better of them, and then suddenly they're hurting themselves in order to be 'perfect' and not get picked on anymore. If you don't look like a model or aren't a size zero, for both girls and boys, you're suddenly victimized by your peers. If you don't get the best grades, you're suddenly the stupidest person in the world.
It's all very unfair. To be judged and then forced to change who you are because you hate that feeling; that feeling that comes when you feel you aren't good enough, that you'll never be good enough. Why should you change yourself though? Why change who you are just so people will like you? They can either like you for you or keep their mouths shut. You don't deserve anything that they're saying about you. You are perfect the way you are. Being yourself makes you that way. So what if you're not a size zero? So what if you're not the best athlete? Or if you don't get the best grades? What does it matter? You do the best you can, that's what should matter - being who you were meant to be.
You were born the way you are for a reason, and you weren't meant to change. Always remember that, and throughout the constant bullying and hatred you'll endure, you'll always remember that you're perfect the way you are - because, in the end, that's all that matters.

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